Recently, Union Minister Anurag Thakur stirred up controversy by chanting desh ke gaddaron ko... at an election rally for the upcoming Delhi elections.
Every time he chanted the slogan, the people in the crowd said - goli maaro saalon ko, which loosely translates to 'shoot the traitors of this country'.
India's Minister of State for Finance can't really boast about the economy or jobs, so guess only choice is hate speech at his rally. 'Shoot the traitors' Here traitors means those who protesting the new Citizenship law #AnuragThakur #CAA #Delhi https://t.co/ZSzhGM2nlF via @ndtv— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) January 28, 2020
Clearly qualifying as hate speech, it was obviously unacceptable - but no police action was taken against Thakur.
To find out a solution for that, activist Saket Gokhale wrote to Delhi police, asking for a permission to chant the same slogan at a rally.
His idea was to put the police in dilemma, with no option but to either arrest Thakur (if they didn't give the permission) or be answerable in front of court (if they did).
Ok fun story:— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) January 31, 2020
The Delhi Police just called. They asked me whether the protest we’re planning is pro-CAA or anti-CAA.
I said it’s neither. We want permission to chant “desh ke gaddaron ko goli maaro” against communal forces
He asked - “what are u protesting against”?
I said we’re protesting against communal forces & the incident that happened at Jamia yesterday.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) January 31, 2020
The janaab says “oh protesting against the communalism at Jamia.
Ok come tomorrow - I’ll show you the spot where you can protest”.
I didn’t bother to correct him 🤷🏻♂️
So that’s how it works peeps.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) January 31, 2020
To get a permission, u first need to declare whether you’re pro or anti CAA. And if they assume you’re “against Jamia”, permission is a breeze.
We live in surreal times.
Gotta get the permission in hand tomorrow unless things change 😊
Sadly and shockingly, the lesser unfortunate thing happened. Delhi police granted him the permission to do the same.
He tweeted the letter of sanction:
The @DelhiPolice has, shockingly, granted me permission to hold a rally chanting “desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko.”— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
The permission was given to me today when I visited Parliament St. Police Station.
This chant now, it seems, has state sanction.
Saket further clarified that he had no intention of holding a rally and just wanted to see if he would be given a permission or not.
I have no intention of holding a rally (unless y’all suggest otherwise).— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
I only wanted the police to give in writing what they think of this reprehensible slogan.
Legit protests don’t get permission. But this shockingly does.
How is this ok, Delhi Police?
He also said that he is taking the matter to court, and later, that he has been told the slogan will be problematic (this was after he tweeted the letter giving him the permission).
PS: I’ll be taking this to court.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
Let the Delhi Police answer if Maanyavar has now ordered them officially to allow people to chant such slogans in contravention of the law.
This will be interesting 😊
Update: I just received a call from the ACP saying that the slogan “will be problematic” in view of the ongoing Model Code of Conduct.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
I’ve now been “requested” to move the protest to after 8th February.
If this is indeed a violation, why isn’t Anurag Thakur arrested? https://t.co/rzVIgrK4FV